Friday, October 15, 2010

An Afternoon Well Spent

For a while now, Becky and I have been meaning to get out to Lake Martin to try out some tandem kayaks that we are thinking of putting in our rental fleet. We've had that project rolling around on our to-do list for 5 or 6 weeks. Not exactly a to-do bullet point that you keep wanting to avoid. But somehow, we just never seemed to get around to it.

Last week we finally loaded the boat and headed to Lake Martin. As soon as we slid the kayak into the water, we noticed a regal egret standing rock-still on a log watching us glide silently by. We decided to head down towards the rookery. Approaching the treeline, a large bird swooped in - moving left to right. Our first Bald Eagle sighting at Lake Martin! We had heard there was a nesting pair and also a single bird at the lake - but never saw it before.

The wind and our momentum carried us into the trees, back towards the rookery and into a cacophony of bird life. A flock of thousands of migrating Grackles were everywhere. These birds are not the regal silent type. They are more like the guys you see on the floor of the stock exchange moving around and yelling, but you're not sure what it's all about. These Grackles were great entertainment. Their oily-black plumage accented by the deep iridescent green was beautiful. We tried to see what they were doing in the trees, but never could tell. Most likely they were just enjoying the afternoon at the lake just like we were.

As we made our way through the trees, the sun began to set. We turned our bow towards the sinking golden orange orb dropping over the other edge of the lake. Now completely relaxed and absorbed in the experience, we paddled across the open water straight towards the setting sun.

I often tell groups that there is a beautiful sunset at Lake Martin every single day. Every time we go out for a late afternoon paddle, we ask ourselves why we don't do this more often. I guess we're not the only ones. During our paddle we didn't see another canoe, kayak or motorboat on the water.

We can all agree that Lake Martin is truly a wonderful asset for Lafayette. But I think considering Lake Martin to be an asset kind of makes it abstract. I want to start thinking of Lake Martin as a canvas on which we can paint beautiful scenes in our life. The 2 hours we spent on the lake will be indelibly imprinted in our memories as an afternoon well spent.

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